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Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Smallpox vs. largepox, early war vs. peaceful alliances... the AI is too tame? Discuss the best strategies!

Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby morphles » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:49 pm

Now you are just doing black and white thinking. Oh you can't win the game by just trade so there is no way it could be dominant!
The fact is that trade routes give huge advantage with very small cost/skill requirement, and there basically are no ways to counter/eliminate them.
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Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby Corbeau » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:31 pm

OK, I give up.
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Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby thegrime » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:43 pm

Trade routes are powerful. Correct use of trades routes is more powerful. Knowing who to make them with and what are the best ones to make is essential.

Musketeers are powerful. Correct use of musketeers is more powerful. Knowing who to use them against, where to produce them, and how to use them is essential.


Like it or not, Morphles, everyone enters this game with different skill levels and different abilities. No amount of whinging about "fairness" and "balance" is going to change the fact that correct use of tools (and a bit of luck) leads to winning a game. It's not just about numbers, production, economy, etc..
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Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby monamipierrot » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:59 pm

Again, 2 cents.
I defend the limitation of trade routes not because I can't use them. Actually, it is for the opposite reason: in GT01 Nimrod and me started to build huge revenue routes. My annual income was inmense, and at the end of the game I literaly had problems in spending all the money it gave to me.
As far as I know, in GT09 only instant revenue had been cut (to 1/16, if I'm not wrong). In GT01 it was simply ridiculous: with ONE instant revenue I could build A COUPLE of caravans.
However, by GT09 annual income had not been touched, making the deal of routes less yummy in the short term, but untouched in the longterm. So, if you start trading and nobody conquers you, you may reach a critical point in which you can buy entire defense armies, and then you can start literally BUYING enemies, if you don't bother conquer them. This is, in part, what happened in GT01, and the main reason I won. Only the tactical military superiority of the enemies (perdedor and ifaesfu) brought moments of high drama in the last 10 turns, and it was a real luck (for everybody) that it was not a very boring end. In another game, the military superiority would not have been enough, for sure.
So, I'm for LOWERING the annual income of trade routes to 1/2 or even 1/5.
Also, it would be great to CANCEL the bonus (x2) of trade routes with other nations (this for limiting the power of alliances).

By the way, I apologize I can't come back playing GT09 for now. I will in a close future.
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Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby ifaesfu » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:16 pm

I thought some of you would realize that some features of the game should be disabled or at least minimised and others enabled or maximised, in this kind of game, where a lot of human players take part. I thought that playing 2 or 3 games would be enough, but it seems it isn't.

We all know how to use trade routes, at least more veteran players and those who have read the wiki (or have you implemented an algorithm to make trade routes as the one used in the warserver? Just joking, I hope ;) ). It isn't a matter of knowledge.
The thing is that the use of trade routes encourage the formation of bigger alliances what I think is bad. Maybe you find very funny to make trade routes with more than 50% of the players of the game and then eliminate the rest.

You can't compare a musket with a caravan. The caravans are much more powerful if you can make safe and distant trade routes. Muskets and other units are the same if you have 2 friends or 50.
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Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby morphles » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:05 pm

grime. ffs. Don't think that I lack skill. Also this never ever was about fairness, I have never said that use of trade routes is unfair. Fairness and balance are different things. And I explained basically everything already. Ifaesfu and monami added some points too.

Though I do not agree with monami about reducing income (and there seems to be no way of doing that... it seems currently its only possible to reduce one time bonuses). Keeping trade routes even if cheaper steel keeps the magical totally immune to anything source of income that you gain for almost nothing. Now with caravans that can't use rail (and civ2civ3 caravans are like so), and with disabled airlift for caravans (not cleanly possible currently, but there are hacks to make it work), and only one time bonuses (again sadly impossible currently), you would get some real trade that could be raided, robbed and would need protection.

Though I agree on 2x bonus between nations, thats pure cheese and only serves to highly increase creation of alliances. Though continent bonus is slightly questionable also...

And more on alliances, what pisses me of the most is that alliances almost never split. By the rules it must happen in gt9, but I think that so far it did not happen, well disregarding south of me where we allied for very pragmatical reasons (as IMO should be) and well now again everyone is at everyones throat. Anyways the nature of trade routes only promotes such unbreakable alliances as there are no ways of destroying routes, thus you end up fighting against enemy who benefits from you, not much hurry to do that of course.

And then there is interface... When you can see shit over trade routes.

Keeping one time bonus solves all of the mentioned problems. While not removing basically anything from the game. You still can trade, you still can get rich from trade, you are not locked into no longer practical trade, you can raid and pirate enemies traide. And you can even do fuckin trade embargoes then, how's that for options?
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Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby XYZ » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:51 pm

Although I give in theory Grime right, empirical research gives morphles right. GT 7 and GT10 Africa have suffered big and not very logic power shifts due to trade. Sure, scenarios are a special case but specially if airports get avaible things spin out of control. Also in a map without x and y wrap people can get highly disadvantaged due to their geografic position. I like morphles idea of a one time bonus based on "physical" work and not some life time rent without some logical explanation. The ivory and spice has to be moved by a ship and can't be transmitted over some fiber glass... Give me the one time bonus!
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Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby thegrime » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:00 pm

Perhaps another way to "fix" this, though I'm not sure it's broken, would be to disable trade routes between different nations. You can only form trade routes within your own nation. That would encourage expansion (settle on different continents and found far away colonies for bigger bonuses).

I'm all for dropping the airlift capacity all together, especially since helicopters can carry troops in civ2civ3.
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Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby morphles » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:31 pm

As there seems to have appeared some interest in this, I'll look into it. No way for GT12 though, as it requires code patch. And for now magnitude of such patch is unknown, from my guesses it can be quite simple to implement, but I can immagine some things in code that would make this quite involved, thus require freeciv dev involvment, thus putting it far in future. If I manage to make patch I think it can be used for next game like GT13 or some such, as Davide said server can be patched for differently for different games IIRC.
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Re: Ponderings on trade routes/caravans

Postby vidlius » Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:19 pm

You know what would be pretty cool is if you could manipulate trade routes from the city page. Such as if a nearby ally who you have a couple routes with decides to back an enemy or invade another friend of yours and you decided to employ "sanctions" on your nearby friend and shut down trade with them.

The ability to remove or shutdown trade routes would be pretty damn awesome and add more diplomacy options to the game. Afaik you could be conducting trade with an enemy and have no way to stop the routes after they're made, except to remake new ones until it's replaced.
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